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LuvTheWild
2008-08-05, 19:25
Thumbs up. REI couldn't let me put them up in the store, but said to take both models, try them, and return the one I don't want. I kept the UltraLight (200 lbs. capacity), and returned the Explorer model (250 lbs cap.).

Features I like start with its asymmetrical cut, so you lay diagonally, fairly flat. It has a silicone-nylon rain fly, above a no-see-um net, and a velcroed, self-sealing, bottom entry (from hips to feet) Works great: pry it open with feet, sit up with legs dropping through opening into flip-flops, and stand up. Simple. No tipping. Elastic ties on both hammock and fly dampen rocking, so it feels solid. It has a stretched top cord (ridge-line) that suspends mosquito-net and serves as a line to hook gear onto (like a water bottle and a pee bottle), and it also has a net bag for small things like glasses and phone.

I used it in the yard for four nights before making final decision, and slept quite comfortably and well. Leaves no foot print, goes up quickly over uneven ground, weighs a pound and a half. Can use a pad under sleeping bag for cold weather.

proc
2008-08-07, 18:36
I have the expedition, and I like it.

My only gripe is that I don't get full coverage from the tarp unless the hammock and tarp are both tied down very aggressively without spreading the hammock.

LuvTheWild
2008-08-09, 00:08
I get several inches overlap on both ends with my new ultralight.

SGT Rock
2008-08-09, 07:16
I like the ultralight. Proc, do you have one of the new larger tarps that Tom is making for the large hammocks? Seems like he added a new larger tarp last spring for the bigger hammocks.

MRH
2008-08-10, 19:08
I've never used a hammock, but I'm interested in them. What do you use for insulation below your sleeping bag? How well can you maneuver in the hammock while sliding in you sleeping bag? and can you lay on your side or lay flat? I'm 6'1, 225lbs, so I guess the larger hammock is what I would need.

CaSteve
2008-08-11, 02:24
I've never used a hammock, but I'm interested in them. What do you use for insulation below your sleeping bag? How well can you maneuver in the hammock while sliding in you sleeping bag? and can you lay on your side or lay flat? I'm 6'1, 225lbs, so I guess the larger hammock is what I would need.

I have a HH Explorer Ultralight. I'm 6'1", 210 lbs. I use a JRB Nest (http://www.jacksrbetter.com/index_files/Products%20List_files/Under%20Quilt.htm) for insulation when it's needed. You can unzip your sleeping bag & use it as a quilt or buy a quilt like those from Nunatak. That makes the maneuvering in the hammock easier.

I sleep on my back in the hammock. You lay on the diagonal, so if everything is setup properly, you are relatively flat.

proc
2008-08-13, 19:59
Proc, do you have one of the new larger tarps that Tom is making for the large hammocks? Seems like he added a new larger tarp last spring for the bigger hammocks.

I'll have to look into that - I never specified any particular tarp when I made the order.

MRH - i'm about 5'8", 165 pounds - The expedition is really much bigger than I need, but I am able to sleep comfortably on my side. I haven't used any insulation systems other than the sleeping bag because I haven't been out in any weather colder than 10-degrees C.

SGT Rock
2008-08-14, 02:59
I may have my models wrong, but I know he was adding a big old tarp for some of the bigger hammocks.

mclmm
2008-08-16, 19:19
I saw a large hex fly for the Hennessy when I was window shopping yesterday. Only problem was it is made from thicker ripstop oxford nylon than the smaller silnylon one which came with my ultralite backpacker a-sym. I thought I might pick one up so I could cook under the hammock fly in bad weather, but after measuring it out, I'll stick with using the Aussie army hootchie tarp I use with it now. It's almost as big.

Seeing as you guys don't get hootchies in the US, maybe the new USMC MARPAT field tarp (see: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-DIGITAL-MARPAT-USMC-GROUND-TARP-TENT-MILITARY-NEW_W0QQitemZ230280862121QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item2 30280862121) would work.

oldsoldier
2008-08-18, 21:57
HH also make an underpad. Its what I use. Essentially, it is another piece of silnylon attached under your hammock, with an open cell foam pad sandwiched between the 2. Admittedly, I have only used mine in fair weather, however, it keeps me VERY warm, to the point I dont use my blanket normally (I use a Kifaru Woobie in decent weather, and reserve a sleeping bag for fall/early spring). I am also a warm sleeper. But, the whoe system, pad included, fits into one of the side pouches on my Karrimor ruck.

Rosaleen
2008-08-18, 23:16
Hi, Guys-

When Tom went to the asym design, he also made all of the tarps a bit larger to make more customers happy. I never had a problem staying dry with the old designs. Maybe I was lucky, but I was out in some nasty storms, and stayed "snug as a bug." When setting up, be sure to match up the side pullouts for coverage, adjusting and tightening the sides BEFORE snugging up the top. It can make a huge difference in staying dry. Site selection can also make a difference. Most people are happier with some natural shelter, like having a hillside or stand of trees between their hammocks and the wind.

The huge hex fly can be ordered in silnylon. It is a LOT to carry, though.

The Undercover set up is more than a second layer of silnylon with a foam pad. It looks a bit like a canoe, and covers part of the top, as well as the sides and bottom. This top part blocks breezes from blowing on the user's head and feet. While that ventilation is appreciated in the summer, it can be a it much in cold weather. The wrap-around design also traps an air layer below the hammock, working as part fo the insulation.

That said, I cut a length of fleece down the center, and made a couple of tunics. The neck opening has a zipper to close it up and hems on the long ends. These hems form casings to hold elastic that I tie around the ends of the hammock for sleeping. There are also elastic attchments matched up to the side tie outs. I made separate sleeves to wear with or without the tunic. These help keep my arms warm when the hammock sides flatten my sleeping bag between me and the hammock bottom and sides. The Undercover is a clever piece of gear, but I rarely pull it out. There are few things that go in my pack that do not have multiple uses. I haven't figured out a second use for the Undercover. The tunic/poncho can be used as a bottom hammock insulator or be worn around camp and hiking. It can hold a foam pad against the hammock,and a mylar space blanket hung below the whole thing makes a great windbreak, helps with insulation, and can double as a ground cloth if I need to "go toground."

Rosaleen

proc
2008-08-19, 19:41
When setting up, be sure to match up the side pullouts for coverage, adjusting and tightening the sides BEFORE snugging up the top. It can make a huge difference in staying dry.

Hmm.. sounds to me like I've been doing it wrong. Thanks for the hint!

Footslogger
2008-08-19, 19:45
...another option for a fly over your hammock is the JRB 8' x 8' silnylon tarp. Seam is on the diagonal so it makes a great compliment to the hammock and gives you about 11' of coverage along the long axis.

'Slogger

Rosaleen
2008-08-19, 21:53
You are welcome for the hint. It comes straight from Tom Hennessy. One reason I give up a long weekend every year to go help at Trail Days is that I get to learn some more tips. Always get the sides snug before the long ends...

Cheers!

Rosaleen

Peter Jordan
2008-08-29, 12:41
Hi,
i am going to buy one of the Hennessey Hammocks and have been advised to get the Explorer. What i want to know is does the Explorer have the asymmetrical type cut so you can lay diagonally giving a flatter sleep or can you do that with any of the hammocks.
Thanks
Peter

GGS
2008-08-29, 15:27
The Hennessy catalog lists the Explorer as "Explorer Deluxe A-Sym". A-Sym means asymmetrical type cut. I believe all the hammocks in the Hennessy catalog are asymmetrical.

So, YES.

Peter Jordan
2008-08-31, 10:58
I have seen it in the catalog myself now so i have gone ahead and ordered it.
Many thanks
PJ

Rosaleen
2008-08-31, 12:48
All of the Hennessy Hammocks that I have seen are made so that the user sleeps flattest when lying on a slight diagonal. It has to do with the hammock's width and, sometimes, with the way the fabric is cut and gathered. Speer and some other wide hammocks are also made so the user lies on a diagonal. IIRC, the concept was borrowed from natives of the Amazon. Tom came up with the bottom slit entry, integrated ridgeline, and side pullouts. He holds patents on the improvements that he developed. It is the integral fixed ridgeline that maintains the perfect-shape-every-time as one lies in it.

If you buy a new model Explorer, it will be Asym. I THINK he made some in his original diamond shape before developing the Asym line. Either let you lie on a diagonal. The newer one will have a proportionally larger fly, and probably some more fabric in the body.

Are you buying a Deluxe or Ultralight? I have a barely used Deluxe that I bought for hubby before the UL model came out. I would have to look to see if it is an Asym or not, but I would be willing to sell the Deluxe for a reduced price. If I sold the Ultralight, I'd be in way too much hot water...

Regards,

Rosaleen

Rosaleen
2008-08-31, 12:50
Oops!

Just saw this post. Since you have ordered one, never mind the offer to sell one!

R

oneshot
2008-09-03, 19:35
Has anyone used the undercover with the JRB underquilt? I am getting ready for hunting season and I like the idea of insulation under the hammock.

kayak karl
2008-09-03, 20:00
Has anyone used the undercover with the JRB underquilt? I am getting ready for hunting season and I like the idea of insulation under the hammock.
i converted my HH stock tarp to an under shield. there is a site that shows you how to do it without cutting tarp (can't find it). just ad tabs about 20? inches to right and left of the hex tie out and gather cloth and hook to hammock tie out.
i have a 10-11 JRB and nest. with oversize tarp i dont see a need for the under shield anymore.
my "Mt. Washington Under Quilt" will be here in 3 days:biggrin:

Rosaleen
2008-09-03, 20:57
Your method gives some shielding from wind and may hold some heat, but will not be the same as an Undercover. Tom's design reminds me of a canoe. The Undercover comes up over and around a good bit of the sides and top ends, trapping some heat and blocking a lot of the air currents that would be pouring in the ends and top. That said, I use a mylar space blanket suspended with elastic that is passed through a "casing" (folded over and taped ends) tied around the top, with tension from the fly hooks, and with the sides attached to the side pull-outs. Depending on how cold it is, I add my Gossamer Gear Thinlite pad on top of the mylar blanket, or a fleece poncho, suspended similarly to the mylar blanket. If cold, I use all 3. This winter I really should set this up in the backyard and record some thermometer readings. I prefer my set up to Tom's because I can use the layers for other purposes. If an item isn't multiple use, I tend to not want it in my pack.

If you have an Undercover, you can layer other insulation under you, either on top of the foam pad, or under it, depending on the material and its thickness. So, if I had inversted in an Undercover, I would be looking at items already carried, or maybe some additional cheap-ish foam, even a cheap bag of feathers. A loose bag of fluff might do OK as additional insulation since with the Undercover, and other insulation is already giving the system shape and proximity to the hammock's underside.

Regards,

Rosaleen

peter_pan
2008-09-05, 10:54
there is a time and place for most everything in life.....

but,

weather shields or under covers by any name, have varing costs, weight,$, ease of use etc and the provide varing benefits 6-10 * of warmth, wind block, place to hold other insulation or space blankets..... they also have a liabilty of reducing breathability, which can trap moisture if not properly managed....imho, they have value if adequate site location is not availble or only minimally assured and only a minimal tarp is being used.

however,

the more efficient, more flexible, often less costly alternative approach in both weight and $ answer is an adequately sized and designed tarp.... use of this approach, will insure that a full side wind block is available. it assures protection for fluffy uq from wind blow and tarp dumping hard rain. it is less weight than a small tarp and a ws or under cover. when purchased from the git go of setting ones hammock gear it may even be less costly....this approach also simplifies ones gear list and reduces set up an pack up time....finally, when real adversity strikes, it provides more shelter when forced to hole up or even just endure a truely bad storm.

one final thought... if sheltered from any wind, or even better, sheltered in a vented tent like secure tarp virtually any under quilt or pea pod, etc will probably out perform the same insulation system encased in a close non breathing or limited breathing shield, cover or bottom.

pan

Rosaleen
2008-09-05, 17:42
Pan-
You already know I'm a solid Hennessy Hammock fan and pretty good buds with Tom and Jim. I think you are underestimating the breathability factor of the properly setup Undercover and stock fly. I have been in nasty storms using the OLD style (proprotionally smaller) hammock flies and stayed dry and comfortable. AND, it was before I worked directly with Tom at Trail Days where I've learned so many more tips. A lot of "personal climate control" is a matter of set up. All that said, I have TWO Undercovers (not intentionally) and use the Undercover only when car camping. I simply can't want to carry a single-use item. So, I go with the space blanket and layers that are part of my backpack or something I can also wear. Right now, I'm still using a fleece tunic because it is cheap, very easy to make, has enough stretch to readily conform to the hammock bottom, and will not be harmed if I hike with it under my backpack. You also produce a wearable quilt, so you appreciate many of the same features. I would hate to ruin an expensive down garment by wearing it under a backpack, though. I hiked down Springer Mountain last New Year's Day and layered my fleece tunic with other clothes. It was nastily cold and windy. I did NOT wear my Montbell down jacket, though. I didn't dare risk it.

Regards,

Rosaleen

peter_pan
2008-09-06, 12:48
Has anyone used the undercover with the JRB underquilt? I am getting ready for hunting season and I like the idea of insulation under the hammock.


oneshot, et al,

this question pops up once or so a year.... jrb does not recommend putting quilts in a hhss... quilts opperate best when allowed to fully loft and maintain breathabilty characteristics....the hhss fits too close for all but the thinnest quilts and is made of silnyl....

some have reported using uq outside of hhss, as if to use a vb approach... search the archive on hf and wb.... we have not studied this approach and have no comment on it.

for an effective alternate strategy to covering under insulation directly see post 23.

pan

oneshot
2008-09-08, 04:16
Thanks to all of you for your input. The reason I was thinking about using the undercover with the jrb was to protect it from getting wet from blowing rain. I am really paranoid about my down gear :). I take it that the undercover wouldn't let the jrb attain enough loft to be effective.

Rosaleen
2008-09-08, 07:47
oneshot-

I don't KNOW that the Undercover would necessarily prevent your underquilt from lofting. It depends on how thick the quilt and how muc space is contained by the Undecover. It is too bad we are so far apart (MA-MI), or we could see by putting my Undercover over your quilt. Consider using a space blanket for wind and rain deflection. You can adjust the closeness of your space blanket.

Rosaleen